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jaegerfesting
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The New Normal

Started: 2009-04-17 21:43:21

Submitted: 2009-04-17 22:05:16

Visibility: World-readable

Every once and a while I look down at Calvin and I'm surprised that he's my son and that I'm a dad. Somehow I expected some sort of "ah-ha" moment when I transitioned from dad-to-be to dad, where suddenly everything clicked into place. Now I expect a gradual transition; like moving or changing a job, I simply go about my life, and when I go weeks or months without considering my state transition I know it slowly becomes the new normal.

It's still bizarre to think that having a baby is likely the only thing I've done so far in my life that will outlive me.

I did have an anti-ah-ha moment the night before I went back to work, when I started considering putting the pieces of my life back together after spending ten days in full-bore dad mode. I discovered that the "dad" role had expanded to fill my entire life, and that when I tried to add the "engineer" and "husband" and "hiker" and "runner" and "web content author" roles back into my life there was simply no room for them. That was the closest to panic I felt after Calvin was born; I had no idea how I was supposed to make the pieces fit. Two weeks later I'm still working on putting my life back together; I had to nudge the "dad" role aside for eight hours to make room for "engineer" (though there is a fair amount of synergy between the "engineer as salary-earner" and "dad as provider" facets), and I'm still trying to figure out how much time I have left for everything else. I expect the real answer is "not much", at least until he grows a bit and stops requiring quite as much hourly care, which I presume will happen at some point. (In the short term, it'd still help if breastfeeding were something other than a complete fiasco.)

Ok, well, the most obvious problem with [new years resolution
about getting a girlfriend] is that the intended outcome relies on
variables which are out of my control. It's a matter of chance,
luck, being in the right place at the wrong time, what have you.
Obviously, it also relies on the willful participation of
another human being. Since the only people we control are
ourselves, making resolutions -- promises to ourselves -- which
require the involvement of others, who may or may not want any
part of the game, is like sitting at home and cheering a
football team, and then saying "We won! We won!" when in fact
you had absolutely nothing to do with any of it. Or something
like that.
- Bitscape, Random Rambling, 01 August 2000